tv This Week With Christiane Amanpour ABC November 28, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EST
welcome to viewers here and around the world. i'm christiane amanpour. this morning, a "this week" special, the giving pledge. why three economic titans are giving away their billions. was it difficult at first to sort of go from making that money to give it away? >> it's much easier to make it than it is to give it away intelligently. >> with great wealth comes incredible enormous responsibility. >> that rededicates us to getting this money to have the most positive impact. >> it is scary because no matter how rich you are, you can go broke. >> exclusive interviews with warren buffett, bill and melinda gates and ted turner. you have called it a moral obligation. >> i don't see any other choice. >> it's exhausting saving the
world. >> scaiving the world is a hard job. >> on america's future. >> the best years of america lie ahead. there's no question about that. >> prosperity will return. >> where the jobs will be. is there a magic bullet solution? >> it's not an easy thing. >> it's only by looking at the long run that you solve this. >> and their views on taxing the rich including themselves. >> the row boats have been left behind. >> buffett, gates, turner as "this week's" special. hello again. we live in what could be called the second philanthropic age, not since the rockefellers and the carnegies have so many wealthy americans given away so much. this past summer warren buffett and bill and melinda gates
announced their idea of the giving pledge. they're asking america's billionaires to join them and make a moral pledge to give at least half their wealth away. that would add up to about $600 billion. in foreign policy magazine's special edition out tomorrow of the top 100 global thinkers, warren buffett and bill gates are number one for stepping up when many nations are faltering. indeed buffett, the gatess and ted turner who has also made the pledge has given their billions for fixing the world's most vexing problems. i traveled to omaha, seattle and new york to talk to each of them and find out what drives them and how they see the future of america and the world. but we began with the issue that will dominate the debate here in washington when congress returns this week and that is tax cuts. >> there's been this increasing disparity between the rich and the poor and we found out that a
rising tide just lifted all yachts, not all boats. >> warren buffett has been practically begging the country, begging congress to tax him more. in fact, many of the richest americans like buffett, bill and melinda gates and ted turner say they should pay higher tax. >> the rich are always going to say, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and it will all trickle down to the rest of you but that has not worked the last ten years and i hope the american public is catching on. >> the debate over whether the rich should pay more taxes takes place outside washington, d.c., as well. in washington state, for instance, where bill gates sr. has been passionately championing a new tax on the rich. >> initiative 1098 is about soaking the rich. >> washington is one of seven states with no state income tax. >> vote yes on 1098. >> proposition 1098 that was in washington state to try to bring a wealth tax.
>> yeah. >> championed by bill gates sr., supported by bill gates. it failed. >> got beat pretty badly but i admire bill sr. for what he did, try to do something for his state and they unfortunately lost. >> what do you say, though, to the executives, one apparently was even a microsoft executive who spent a lot of money trying to defeat that? >> well, they're not alone. look at who fights in terms of estate taxes. that's what k street is all about in washington and, unfortunately, the politics is a game of push and pull and you get to push with money. >> are you disappointed that it got defeated? >> i voted yes and i was hoping that it would pass. but that's done now. >> if people aren't going to pay for the services they need how are those services going to get funded, do you think? >> well, taxes and spending have to match each other in the long run. there's many ways to tax. there's many ways to spend. that's all up to the voters.
some states you rely on your legislators. some you have lots of referendum. >> do you agree with alan greenspan that all bush era tax cuts should come to an end. >> no, i think actually you might extend them further for the lower class, middle class, upper middle class but i think that you should raise taxes on the very rich. i lived in periods where capital gains taxes were 39.6% and earned income taxes -- our economy did just fine. >> why do you think there isn't more of that kind of debate. >> i think that it hasn't been to the interest of the people in washington to get as riled up about that as they get riled up about other things. we're going to raise 2.2 trillion this year. 900 billion will come from individual income taxes. 900 billion will come from payroll taxes so the payroll taxes become 40% of our total revenue just like the income tax and people talk about how the rich pay their share, they totally ignore the payroll tax.
you know, i did this little survey in my office a few years ago and there were 16 people responded and i had the lowest tax rate of the 16. i didn't have any tax shelters. i didn't have any tax planner. it was all courtesy of the u.s. congress. i mean, they did my tax planning for me and literally the average for the office counting payroll taxes what 32% and mine was 16 and a fraction percent. >> their rationale by giving you a tax break, so to speak which is what it amounts to, you help all the others, that it trickles down. >> yeah, well, it hasn't trickled. as i said, a rising tide has lifted all yachts but the row boats have been left behind. >> i still pay quite a bit of taxes, but not as -- not as much as i would if i didn't give so much money away. i get a lot of deductions. >> so what do you think about the prospects of cutting social security and means testing for people like you. >> i don't like it. i paid social security. i mean i'm -- it's my own money i'm getting back in my opinion.
i think social security -- since you paid for it, it's yours and you're entitled to get it. >> but each of these multibillionaires sees needs that are not met. thus, they're called to others like them to join the giving pledge. >> my wealth has come from a combination of living in america, some lucky genes and compound interest. both my children and i won what i call the ovarian lottery. >> warren buffett, who is ceo of berkshire hathaway and one of the world's richest men, has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune. today, that's worth $50 billion. was it difficult at first to sort of go from making that money to give it away? >> no, it was not difficult to make the decision. my wife and i made the decision when we were in our 20s that we were going to do it. the question is how to do it. it's much easier to make it than it is to give it away intelligently. >> we've been blessed with good fortune beyond our wildest
expectations and we are profoundly grateful. >> but just as these gifts are great so we feel a great responsibility to use them well. >> bill gates, founder of microsoft, is also give ago way his money and applying his innovative smarts to trying to solve some of the world's biggest problems. along with his wife melinda, they've created the largest private foundation in the world with $35 billion in assets, which they're focusing on improving global health and on improving education here in the united states. what was the personal mental shift between making all that money and then deciding to give it away? >> i think that's an important thing to understand about bill and me, which is we knew even during the time we were engaged we talked about the fact that this wealth would go back to society. that was a given between us. because we both grew up in families where volunteerism was really important, giving back was really important. bill thought it would be later in his career in his 60s but once we started getting going in
a small way it builds on itself. >> i don't measure success in numbers but i consider my contribution of more than $1.3 billion to various causes over the years to be one of my proudest accomplishments and the best investment i've ever made. >> ted turner, captain courageous who won america's cup, media mogul who revolutionized television news with cnn, who married a movie star and was involved in the biggest media merger ever, aol together with time warner. when he was surprisingly fired from that venture, he reinvented himself with a second career as philanthropist and in 1977 he stunned the world with one of the largest donations in history, $1 billion to create the united nations foundation. was it scary to give a third of your wealth away? >> it is scary because everybody is always afraid that they're going to go broke. >> nevertheless, these business giants are not afraid to give
back in a big way. >> i've got everything i possibly need. i've never given up a meal, a movie, a tray vegas trip, anything in my life. and i've got all this huge surplus. i've got a whole bunch of what i call claim checks on society, little stock certificates that sit in a box, been there for 40 years. they can't do anything for me. they can do a lot more other people if intelligently used. >> you said you won the ovarian lottery. is that because of opportunity? was it because of smart. >> it was being born in america in 1930, born in the right country at the right time. bill gates told me if i had been born many thousands of years ago i would have been some animal's lunch because i can't run fast and can't climb trees and some animal would chase me. well, i allocate capital. those are the kind that taste the best. i am who i am. >> how did you get your head around not giving it all to your children. >> well, i just think the idea of dynastic wealth is kind of
crazy that you should do nothing in your world for the rest of your life for your children and grandchildren because you picked right womb doesn't seem to be very american. >> if you're not giving up anything, are you a do gooder, a philanthropist. >> i considered the real philanthropists those who put $5 in a collection plate and can't go to a movie because of it. they actually give up an extra toy for their kids at christmas by giving that $5 or $10. i consider somebody like my sister who spends hours every day to help other, they're giving away time which is precious. >> yet you have called it a moral obligation. >> well, it's certainly an internal obligation. i mean, i don't want to preach morality to other people but it's -- i don't see any other choice that makes any sense. i mean, i could build a pyramid to myself and i could kill tourism in egypt, you know, if i spent the 40 billion or 50 billion on building the greatest
tomb and people would come for a couple hundred years but i think that's crazy. >> would you say you're egoless? >> no, i'm not egoless. i take great pride in what berkshire hathaway does if we do well. i like accomplishing things. if i accomplish things i like others acknowledging that so i've got plenty of ego, but i don't believe in spending money that doesn't do anything for me when it will do something for somebody else. >> buffett is giving more than 15% of his money to foundations started by his three children and his late wife susan. they tackle issues like the environment, family planning, education and human rights. >> i've told them, if -- they're a failure if they don't have any failures. if they just do easy things anybody can do those. they're supposed to tackle tough, important problems and to some extent ones where funding is otherwise not available. that's where you make a difference. >> buffett has always chosen wisely when it comes to getting
the best possible return for his money. so the bulk of his fortune, 75%, will be invested with the bill and melinda gates foundation. >> every human life is the equivalent of every other human life. >> describe how you chose the areas you chose and why you chose those when there's so many government programs that are for education or indeed for global health. >> well, we looked around and saw that the greatest miracle that had happened for everybody on earth is as health had improved it not only saved lives, it reduced sickness, let kids be able to learn but that also led to the stabilization of the population wherever good health was created. >> and also we really started with the premise that all lives, all lives have equal value no matter where they're lived on the globe so if that's bang will desh or boston or in britain somewhere but in the u.s. we feel the greatest inequity is
education, that not every child in this country is getting a phenomenal education and they ought to. that's the civil rights issue in our country. >> so their goal is to make students college ready and they're funding school programs that boost student involvement. reduce class size and enhance the performance of teachers. sh where do you think education can make a change and a difference? >> well, the biggest thing would be is if teachers were getting lots of feedback about what they're doing well and what they're not doing well and if the incentive system encouraged them to teach other teachers when they're doing it well to learn from others and so the average quality would go up. >> bill and melinda gates have just returned from tennessee where they gave $90 million to help overhaul that state's school system. >> we talked about ten teachers who were willing to be videoed in the public school system in memphis and they say -- some have been teachers for a long time.
they say watch my video with me. you sit down and watch. they say look at this. i was doing great teaching this lesson and look when i lost that boy in the back of the classroom. i needed to let the kids have a break. i needed to teach my lesson in a slightly different way and i'm showing it to my other peer teacher to compare our lessons. they want to change the craft of their teaching and get better and that i think is remarkable. >> and does it trouble you that in terms of where american students are in terms of university graduation that they're now -- they've gone from 1 now down to 12 over the last several year. >> if you say, okay, of all the kids that start in ninth grade in high school in the united states, you say, literally only one-third are ready to go on and succeed in college, we're leaving behind two-thirds of our u.s. kids in the public school system. that to me speaks to right what the problem is and it's got to be fixed. you can't have a democracy where only a third of the kids participate and that's why we're so focused on the issue.
>> you talk about democracies which obviously there are elected officials meant to take care of these things. are you stepping in because our democracy is failing in this regard? >> no, there's been a history in the united states for several centuries now where an approach that's more innovative requires some extra funding to get going, and so the idea of charter schools, at first they required extra money, some of these new curriculum approaches require some extra money. the work to measure effective teachers, to pay for the videos that melinda talked about, they're not going to take that out of their normal funds. so maybe they should have more experime experimental money but they don't. the role of philanthropy is to make that possible. they get to decide what works and apply the big dollars which is their regular spending on these students so they -- our role is catalytic to let them see new approaches. >> when it comes to health
around the world, their focus is on developing and delivering vaccines for diseases that affect millions of people everywhere. in fact, they've poured in nearly $15 billion. you're hoping to develop an aids vaccine. do you really believe that's possible? >> we think in our lifetime we will get an aids vaccine. it's not an easy problem. but you have to work upstream. the only way we're ever really going to get at aids is with a vaccine. we might get an interim tool for women that they can use, a drug, a pill that they could use to keep them from contracting aids but if you want to solve it you can't just treat. you have to get a vaccine. >> you must take high risks in order to reap high return is their philosophy and so the gates foundation funds cutting-edge and experimental ventures that government agencies which are beholden to taxpayers may not. what is it about the foundation and how you back ideas that you think you can do that where so
many others have failed? >> the united states government is the biggest funder of an aids vaccine. we're i think the second and so there's a lot of different approaches that are getting funded. >> and just this week, the national institutes of health announced what they call the most significant breakthrough in years, tests show that a new pill taken daily dramatically reduced the risk of aids among high-risk gay men. it was paid for by the nih and the gates foundation. >> we are particularly helpful when we can gather the right group of scientists, take long-term point of view and keep the visibility of the impact as high as possible. >> bill and melinda gates' three children are rarely photographed. but they have traveled with their parents on their overseas trips. how do they react when you take them to some of the abject
poverty that exists in this world? >> i don't think you can go into an aids orphanage and not leave a changed person and so even though the orphanages look really nice they know at the end of the day when we leave those children don't have any parents and that affects a child deeply. >> most people assume that they're going to leave whatever they've made and whatever they've done to their offspring. but you don't feel that way. >> i don't think it's a favor to a child or to society to have immense amount of wealth bequeathed to them simply because of the family they're in. you know, they want to develop their own identity, their own excellence and, you know, clearly they're going to get some benefit in terms of going to great schools and broad exposure, but then have a chance to make their own way. >> yeah, and i think, you know what we've tried to instill in our kids that with great wealth comes incredible, enormous
responsibility. >> billionaire turned philanthropist ted turner agrees and he's pledged the majority of his upon to the u.n. foundation to help eradicate poverty and disease and to the nuclear threat initiative to eliminate nuclear weapons. >> i don't believe it's really healthy to pass on for tunes to children just because they're your children, not necessarily more worthy than anyone else and if they getting everything from their parents or from the previous generations then their life doesn't have the kind of meaning or the challenges that being able to make it on their own does. >> what was your highest net wealth? >> close to 10. >> and it permitted with the plunge -- >> less than 2. >> how did you tom that. >> i lost 10 million a day every day for three years. i stayed with time warner and --
because of my family and friend has a lot of stock in the company and i was on the board and i just -- i was like the captain of the "titanic." i went down with the ship. it hurt because i worked hard to get ha money. you know, i've worked hard. like that song she works hard for her money. that was my theme song. >> how did you triumph over that. >> i just -- i hung in there, but there was -- i had a rough couple of years. i lost most of my fortune. i lost my job. i lost my wife and i lost a grandchild passed away all in the same year. and i thought about giving up but i couldn't give up because then what would i do? you know, i wasn't going to -- quitters never win and winners never quit. i remembered that's been kind of my slogan for a long time. >> did philanthropy fill a void?
>> yeah, but during that year i didn't give a whole lot away because i was trying to hang on to what little bit was left. >> when you gave the money to the united nations, you said, i want to put all you rich people on notice, i'm coming after you to give more money. >> well, that was -- i said that but just by saying that, it caused a lot of people i'm sure to think about. >> did you know bill gates and warren buffett before that. >> i did. i didn't know them real well, but i knew them -- i knew them. >> what did you want them to do and others like them? >> well, to consider giving now. they were already considering giving. everybody who is rich is -- considers it. it's just a question of whether they do it or not because it's so much easier not to do it. but they -- but bill and -- bill gates and warren with this giving pledge, i mean, they're out there really taking a leadership position and i'm proud to know them and be
partners with them because we do -- the u.n. foundation and the nuclear threat initiative does a number of joint projects with both of them. >> you just mentioned nti, the nuclear threat initiative. >> right. that's the one that focuses on weapons -- getting rid of weapons of mass destruction and making sure they're not used in the meantime, and making it a more peaceful and safer world. >> and yet that should be the role of a government. >> well, it is the role of government. but governments can stand help. governments are like everybody else. everybody needs help sometimes no matter how rich and powerful you are, and that was the thing. i did not know for sure when i started that it was going to work, that the u.n. foundation was going to be able to help the u.n. or the nuclear threat initiative was going to be able to help the u.s. government and there were a lot of things that weren't getting done that are getting done now -- done more
quickly and it really has worked out and not only are -- is our foundation helping, but now you have lots of corporations that are helping the united nations, and you have lots of ngos that are helping. >> you did something in yugoslavia with nuclear threat initiative. why did you have to step in and secure the yugoslavian nuclear material. >> because our government didn't really have a way to raise that last $5 million. they were $5 million short for transporting and blending down the highly enriched uranium that serbia had, and it was very dangerous. it was being held in a museum, it wasn't being properly supervised. it could have been stolen by a terrorist or -- and it was enough to make several big bombs. >> and the united states government did not is $5 million. >> the rules that they have so we came up with the $5 million. >> warren buffett jokes because of his age he's been on the nuclear case longer even than
turner. >> because i'm older than he is. >> and he's joined as adviser to the nti. >> i deliver "the washington post" extra when they drop the first atomic bomb but i read what einstein said four days later this has changed everything in the world except how men think. in the 1960s i was giving money to that. the hard thing is translating money into something that really does attack the problem. you really get at the governments and i don't know how to use big money to really change the world in that respect. i've got a $50 million challenge out now to the iaea on a program for nuclear fuel bank but basically that's got to be done by governments and money just doesn't -- it doesn't buy as much in some areas of philanthropy as it does in others. >> since 1960 the number of countries with nuclear weapons has nearly tripled free 3 to 11. >> we've got to all get rid of them, us, russia, china and they all understand that and they all
voted for it. last year at the security council so all i'm trying to do is remind them that they've already voted for it. let's go ahead and do it and we've already voted for the s.t.a.r.t. treaty and it carried. now all we've got to do is ratify it with a supermajority of the senate. get that ratified and get on the road towards nuclear disarmament and world peace because we have too many other problems that we need to deal with. let's get rid of polio and measles and malaria instead of bombing each other and we can eliminate poverty. i'm on the u.n. committee to eliminate poverty. well, in the next five years it's a big job but we're going to work on it. we're going to try. >> it's exhausting saving the world. >> saving the world is a hard job. >> what would you say to people who don't have so much money? should they be doing it too. >> or don't have any money. one thing they can do is pick up trash. that's what i do. we're in new york now. and yesterday i walk around the block and i pick up trash. >> i don't believe you.
>> i swear to god. absolutely. >> why? >> i picked up trash in atlanta. >> why? >> because i want to set a good example. the president of rwanda passed a rule on the third saturday of every month, the entire country has to go out from 8:00 to 11:00 and pick up trash including him and the cabinet of rwanda. they all go out and pick up trash and rwanda is just as clean a country as switzerland is. >> ted's motivation comes in part from a tough upbringing from a strict disciplinarian father. what about your father made you take these risks and aim so high in your life? whether it was starting cnn, whether it was winning the america's cup, whether it was being, you know, for environmental control before that was cool or nuclear disarmament before that was cool. >> you only have one life. you might as well make it interesting and you might as well aim high, you know. try and do as much as you can but basically i didn't have a
lot of fear because i thought things through very carefully before i did them and i felt like, you know, i wasn't really taking that big a risk. >> when we come back, some other billionaires who are signing on to the pledge, plus, we will ask buffett, the gates and turner when they expect jobs to return and whether america can still compete and lead in the global economy. >> not a zero sum game, you know. i mean we -- the fact that it was discovered in england has been great in the united states. the fact if they come up with an electric car that works first the important thing is that benefits of the world's innovations flow to the whole world. in 1968, as whaling continued worldwide, the first recordings of humpback songs were released.
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jpmorgan chase set up new offices to work one-on-one with homeowners. since 2009, we've helped over 200,000 americans keep their homes. and we're reaching out to small businesses too, increasing our lending commitment this year to $10 billion and giving businesses the opportunity to ask for a second review if they feel their loan should have been approved. this is how recoveries happen. everyone doing their part. this is the way forward. our special edition of "this week," the giving pledge, returns in a moment. couldn't work anymore, it was up to me to support our family.
karri danner went back to school, to become a nurse. my education made all the difference but now some in washington want regulations restricting access to career colleges and universities, denying opportunity to millions of people like karri, letting government decide who can go to college. it's my education, and my job, it should be my choice. don't let washington get in the way.
challenges. does there need to be a sense of sacrifice in the united states? >> well, i certainly -- there's no sacrifice among the rich, you know, there's plenty of sacrifice going on now. i mean if you look at iraq and now afghanistan, there's been sacrifice, but i would doubt if you take the people on the "forbes" 400 list whether many have a child serve in iraq or afghanistan and they come home in body bags to nebraska but they don't -- they don't have to call up anybody up at the country club to notify them. >> warren buffett called the financial meltdown in the fall of 2008 an economic pearl harbor and he's given credit to the federal government for saving the economy. in this extraordinary emergency he wrote, you, meaning the government, came through and the world would look far different now if you had not. buffett says, however, that the economy still has a long way to go before it comes roaring back. is there a magic bullet solution even though it's not something
that can be cured in a week but can people look forward to full employment in a few years. >> they can look forward to their children living better than they lived and their grandchildren but it will come back slowly. i mean it's not an easy thing. if i had a great idea, believe me, i'd have been raising my hand and wanting to come on your program to tell people about it. i do know business is coming back. when business comes back, employment comes back and the genius of the american society has not been lost. >> how does the united states in this situation generate jobs, compete with china, india and actually bring those jobs to americans? >> well, there's not a fixed number of jobs. the fact that other countries are doing well actually creates opportunities for jobs. the question for us is, are we educating people well? that's the number one thing. if you want to look at where economies improved, created a
lot of jobs even look within the unemployment figure, look at the college educated unemployment versus, say, high school only versus dropout. and you'll see that the education system is what's out of whack. the demand is there if you have the right skills. that's not an immediate solution, but for top problems like this, you really -- it's only by looking at the long run that you solve it. >> since you are known as a very clever and savvy entrepreneur, you took many risks, you embodied the american dream, if you like, today there are major problems with the middle class, with small businesses. >> yes. >> how would you advise kick-starting the economy today? >> i think, you know, stimulating it with money probably -- i don't like deficits either. i believe in balanced budgets and making a profit. >> do you see a way out of this.
>> yeah, we're doing it right now. we're correcting things. we've already paid off a trillion dollars of our debt in the last couple of years by not borrowing so much. we're cutting down on our borrowing and people are cutting down on their expenses but prosperity will return. it always has and i think it will. >> do you see austerity necessary like europe is doing, deep cuts, rising tax. >> yeah, yeah. yeah. we were spending too much. and that's what the conservative movement has said, we've spent too much. you know, i'm not exactly sure where it's too much but some place spls where do you see the next big innovation coming? >> you don't see it. you know, at the start of the 1980s we thought germany and japan would eat our lunch and all we were going to do is flip hamburgers and cut each other's hair and then we created 20 million new jobs. i didn't know where they were coming from and maybe the people that created them didn't know
but we've genius to the system that creates job. >> you're an innovator. where do you see innovation coming here. >> well, technology could be used inle schools. we'll have lectures available. you'll be able to test your knowledge. you'll be able to work with students who aren't at the same place as you are. we should be able to drive some efficiency in excellence. >> how does one innovate again in the united states? >> well, there's a lot of innovating being done right now. i just came up this week from a conference on mobile health and what's being done with cell phones in the developing world to transport medical information to people and to gather it and it's just absolutely amazing the things that are being invented. now they're not all being inveptded by americans but some of them are. america was -- america never had a monopoly on brain power. you know, we had -- we've been very successful, but on top of that, you know, as time goes on and you get more and more
successful, that leads to some complacency and you have to go -- that's why you have cycles. the stock market goes down some days and goes up some day. >> where do you see america in the next two year, five years. >> well, two years i don't know. i don't think -- we will be better off two years from now than we are now unless there is some nuclear chemical or biological event, but the one thing i'm absolutely sure of is that the best years of america lie ahead. there's no question about that. but what has worked for 200 and some years is going to keep working and we have unleashed human potential. we aren't smarter than those people around the revolutionary wartime. we don't work harder. we just work more effectively and that will keep on and on and on and turn out more goods and services and i hope they get more equitably distributed in the future. >> some complain the megarich might be trying to shape government policy with their big dollar donations.
>> i was opposed to the latest ruling that corporations can give unlimited amounts to people running for public office. the richest will be able to buy the elections and i don't think that ought to be the case. i think that our government should be run by the people and for the people, that democracy is important and i'm very concerned about that and i hope that congress will overturn that at some point in time. >> what about climate change? you're putting a lot of money into trying to get environmental controls. >> yeah, but i'm not putting unlimited amounts in. you know, it's limited -- the amount of giving you can do for lobbying was limited. i think that's good. i do not think that the rich should be able to buy the country. >> in philanthropy it's important to have diversity so if somebody thinks with the giving pledge or other things that we're saying, you know, there's only one model. that's a mistake.
we love the fact that we sit down and learn from these people, things they're doing and everybody should pursue their own approach. so it's not a monolithic thing. it's about doing different things but still learning from each other. >> and i think the important thing is to think about how much wealth could go back to society from the giving pledge. i mean that's the enormous positive. the financial dollars that come from the philanthropy i think are the initial wedge to try the experiment so it's up to the democracy to decide whether to take those on. >> there's three things can you do with your money, spend it on yourself or your family. you can pay it in tacks one way -- or three, use it in philanthropy. among the three i take care of myself well and my kids are pretty well taken care of. i think i should pay higher taxes. but if i'm not going to pay it, i mean the rest of the money is going to go back to society. it's just a question of whether its goes through the government or private source. >> gates and buffett are taking the giving pledge on the road and they've approached some of the world's newest billionaires
in china, which today has about 200. what was the reaction that obviously they're not used to. they've just barely begun to amaze it. >> it was amazing it's so similar. they talked about hair children, their businesses, they talked about the different role of government there in terms of philanthropy but they opened up. they were not reluctant to talk at all. their culture is different. however, they may wish to adapt some of our ideas to what they are re doing is fine with us. but we are not there to add another wing to the american operation. >> we started a dialogue with some people that will continue. >> we had a lot of very good questions. the government came. the government said they were very enthused about what had happened in the interchange and, you know, the questions were like we get in the united states. how should you involve the kids? what causes really seem like they're impactful? how do you find other people to work with? they're just at an earlier stage and they'll put their own
imprint on it. >> here in the united states it's not just the famously rich who are giving, it's the rich you may not recognize. in the last three months 40 other billionaires have signed the pledge. people like tom steyer. >> we want to leave our kids a different kind of inheritance. an example of at least trying to lead a worthy life. >> how do you go about getting tom and others to join the giving pledge. >> in many times they're already doing a lot of giving on their own. >> an invitation was a call from warren buffett. if he thinks it's a good idea i go with assumption it is a good idea. >> we think the more the better and in some ways it'll -- we'll outraise our sights. we all may start a little younger. we all may be a little bolder and we'll find ways to collaborate together. >> steyer drives a 2005 hybrid honda and flies commercial. this every man runs a hedge fund worth $20 billion.
he and his wife kat have pledged to give away most of it in their california community. >> the big, new thing i believe is steering us in the face is sustainable energy, you know, so i'm a huge believer that the thing that america can do that america can focus on is creating new ways of both generating and using energy. >> why is america not taking that big chance? >> i think that we're in the very early innings. i would like to do it a lot sooner because i think it's just an enormous part of our economy, it's an enormous part of the world economy and it's something where we can lead and build some amazing sustainable businesses with a lot of employment. >> what is it that makes a master of the universe such as yourself want to give away most of your fortune? >> well, of course, that question implies that either i am or i believe myself to be a master of the universe. >> you may not be but given your
birth and business -- >> immediately dispel. i try to take a lot of pride in being part of my community and i think that it has nothing in my opinion to do with being a master of the universe but does have a great deal to do with wanting to be a good citizen and a good community member. >> people are told to work hard, to amass as much wealth. this is a very materialistic world particularly here in the united states so to hear it's not hard to get rid of it all is interesting. >> i guess it depends what you derive your fun and value out of. i mean, i think it's really fun to do stuff and so if we're fortunate enough to be able to do more stuff -- >> what stuff? >> as a result of this -- honestly one of the things we did was started a community bank and to have a bank you have to have a bunch of money it get it going but we felt that a community bank that put money back into the community where
people could get loans that they otherwise couldn't get both businesses, individuals, nonprofits, would be something that would make that community a lot better place to live and at the same time we'd have a very rigorous way of measuring whether we were doing a good job. >> so it's not charity, per se? >> i think of it as participation. i mean, that is structured in a way so that my wife and i could never make any money. the money went into the bank and can never come back. if the bank makes money all it means is we could make more loans. >> you said you would be willing to have your taxes higher. many americans particularly those successful said, hang on, i did this work, this is my just reward, you disagree with that notion. >> i certainly do. >> because? >> i think anyone who doesn't give credit to the system that they are born into is taking an awful lot on to themselves. i mean i really think that people have sacrificed a lot
more than a little tax money to make that system available for all of us and i would be ashamed of myself if i didn't give some credit to them. >> it's emotional for you. do you feel we're in trouble? >> no. i think the u.s. is great. i think that people need some ideas. i think that they need a strategic sense but i have enormous confidence in americans to work hard and to be smart and to do the right thing. >> and there's no sign yet that these philanthropists are slowing down or resting on their laurels. you were a man of great ambition. >> i still am. >> is the hunger still there. >> yeah. but now i'm hungry for success of the human race and america and all my friends all over the world. >> how do you want history to see you? >> i don't know. i'd like to hopefully you'll see me honestly.
i believe in honesty. all i'm doing is good so or trying to do good. you know, even the people that don't agree about getting rid of nuclear weapons think it's a good idea to try. >> there's a certain momentum in terms of the more you hear about other people doing giving, it will encourage you to do more and certainly all of us who got involved have been inspired by each other's stories and that rededicates us to getting this money to have the most positive impact. >> and any time there's talk about giving in a society, i mean we're interested not just in the wealthy giving, there's lots of people giving their time or giving small amounts of money even during recessionary time so just to have that discussion stimulated for the country i think is an important thing. >> what do you want your legacy to be? >> i want to do the most intelligent job i can to in effect without respect to whether the recipients are male or female or black or white or americans or africans or whatever it may be that it has the greatest impact on improving
the most people's lives in the future. >> do you have any plans to retire? >> no. no, not even after i die i've got a ouija board. the directors will keep in contact with me. >> but before buffett hears from that ouija board he told me he's been working the phones so perhaps we can expect another announcement of more billionaires taking the pledge soon. and the white house recently announced that buffett will receive the presidential medal of freedom. bill and melinda gates are going to india next year to encourage emerging billionaires to take the pledge there and ted turner continues his work for global nuclear disarmament. visit our website at abcnews.com/thisweek to find out more about the giving pledge and watch warren buffett tell you how to make 50% more money. and you can also learn about foreign policy magazine's top 100 global thinkers and link to the magazine to find out who's changing our world. still to come, "in memoriam" and
"the sunday funnies." hehehey, did you ever finish last month's invoices? sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. my professor at berkeley asked me if i wanted to change the world. i said "sure." "well, let's grow some algae." and that's what started it. exxonmobil and synthetic genomics have built a new facility to identify the most productive strains of algae. algae are amazing little critters. they secrete oil, which we could turn into biofuels. they also absorb co2. we're hoping to supplement the fuels
that we use in our vehicles, and to do this at a large enough scale to someday help meet the world's energy demands. and while it can never be fully answered, it helps to have a financial partner like northern trust. by gaining a keen understanding of your financial needs, we're able to tailor a plan sing a full suite... of sophisticated investment stategies and solutions., so whatever's around the corner .can be faced with confidence., ♪ northern trust. .look ahead with us at northerntrust.com. lord of the carry-on. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this.
died in war this week and the pentagon released these names of all the soldiers and marines killed in iraq and afghanistan. we'll be right back. ♪ [ male announcer ] lately, there's been a lot of talk about fuel efficiency, hybrids, and plug-in vehicles. and we've got cars like that. even trucks. but we can do more. starting today, when you buy a chevrolet, we'll invest in renewable-energy, energy-efficiency, and tree-planting programs across america -- reducing carbon emissions by up to eight million metric tons over the next few years. and just one more way we can proudly say: "chevy runs deep." ♪ and go everywhere. to help revitalize a neighborhood in massachusetts. restore a historic landmark in harlem. fund a local business in chicago.
expand green energy initiatives in seattle. because when you're giving, lending and investing in more communities across the country... more opportunities happen. ♪ at the walmart in marinette, wisconsin. that first job launched my career. since i've been with the company, i've been promoted ten times over the span of 11 years. today, i'm a divisional learning and development manager. we can actually help people develop in their own careers. my job allows me to make a difference in the lives of almost 100,000 associates in the northeast. if you think about it, that's almost 8 times the size of my hometown. my name is nick and i work at walmart. ♪ and now "the sunday funnies." >> the dalai lama says when he retires he expects to be replaced by someone from india.
so it's official. people in india are now taking everyone's jobs. >> today, of course, was the busiest travel day of the year. the tsa issued a reminder that gravy is not an allowed liquid. that's true. so let me get this straight. they won't touch your gravy but they will touch your giblets. fair enough. >> in her new book sarah palin reveals she once gave up chocolate for an entire year just to prove that she could do it. still thinks she's not qualified to be president? >> the white house was briefly evacuated today after a small plane crossed over into restricted airspace and somebody in the white house yelled everybody get out and president obama said it's 2012 already? oh. >> and we'll be right back with a note about next week's program.
next sunday we'll have a sthk this can debate. is it time to end don't ask, don't tell? the pentagon on tuesday is expected to release its long-awaited report on the impact of gays serving openly in the military. and congress could vote on it in the lame duck session. we'll hear from all sides of this debate. that's next sunday on "this week" and that's our program for today. thank you for watching and we'll see you next week.